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Chopra Center for Wellbeing
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Have you ever ruminated endlessly about a decision and felt a pain in your stomach? Do you notice yourself having critical thoughts and feel tightness in your chest? Have you been happy, excited, thinking positive thoughts and felt your whole body relax?
The average person has between 12,000 and 50,000 thoughts per day. And these thoughts can have profound effects on our psycho-physiology.
Thousands of years ago, the Buddha pointed out that our thoughts determine our experience of the world. He was the original cognitive therapist, pointing out that our beliefs had the power to enslave us or enlighten us. The ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda also taught that our biography helps create our biology. What we think, feel, and experience, helps to create our reality.
These ancient teachings have been continually confirmed through western medical science. Dr. Candace Pert, an internationally recognized psychopharmacologist and author of Molecules of Emotion, explains "...The nueropeptides and receptors, the biochemicals of emotion, are, as I have said, the messengers carrying information to link the major systems of the body into one unit that we can call the body-mind. We can no longer think of the emotions as having less validity than the physical, material substance, but instead must see them as cellular signals that are involved in the process of translating information into physical reality, literally transforming mind into matter."
Our thoughts and emotions can profoundly impact our health. Dr. Pert writes "Because the molecules of emotion are involved in the process of a virus entering a cell, it seems logical to assume that the state of our emotions will affect whether or not we succumb to viral infections." She goes on to explain that "...the chronic suppression of emotions results in a massive disturbance of the psychosomatic network." Therefore, "The key is to express it and then let it go, so that it doesn't fester or build, or escalate out of control."
An amazing pictorial representation of how our thoughts create and influence our reality involves water, plain old water. Writer and researcher Masaru Emoto, who lives and works in Japan, decided to photograph the crystals formed when water freezes. Emoto found that crystal formation seems to reflect the words, music, or actions that water is exposed to as it freezes. Emoto and his colleagues wrote different words on paper, and then taped them onto bottles of water. They then froze the water and observed the crystals that formed. When water was exposed to the words "thank you," a beautiful hexagonal shape appeared. Conversely, when the water was exposed to the words "you fool," no crystals formed and the frozen water looked like a misshapen lump of ice.
Emoto's photographs offer a pictorial representation for Dr. Pert's findings. We are mostly water, and it seems not impossible that we can and do influence this water, and therefore our bodies, in either positive or negative ways. According to Emoto, "The vibration of good words has a positive effect on our world, whereas the vibration from negative words has the power to destroy." (xxv).